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ATASCADERO — Michael Hawkins likes his beer cold. And so do his customers.
To do this, the Stagecoach Liquor owner has spent a lot of money over the past 30 years keeping his inventory refrigerated. Now, the cost of doing business won’t cost him nearly as much. Hawkins has gone solar.
Hawkins recently installed Atascadero’s largest solar system atop Stagecoach Liquor’s 2,500+ square-foot building on El Camino Real.
“I used to spend as much as $2,300 a month on my electric bill,” said Michael Hawkins. “Once I heard I could save over $1,000 per month with solar, I decided to move forward.”
The renewable energy system, completed by Atascadero-based A.M. Sun Solar, includes 98 photovoltaic solar panels affixed to Stagecoach Liquor’s roof. Those 98 panels will produce over 50,000 kWh’s of power in the first year, which is enough to offset more than 65 percent of Stagecoach Liquor’s annual electric bill.
“Our gas pumps, fans, refrigerators for the liquor and food, parking lot and outdoor signage consume an enormous amount of energy.” says Hawkins. “That equipment is vital to my business and there is no way to reduce my energy usage. When solar became an option I knew it was a smart business and environment decision.”
All the green energy generated by his system will not only save Hawkins money, it will help PG&E meet their energy goal of providing 33% renewable energy by the year 2020. This results in less pollution from its power plants, which means less greenhouse gases and a healthier environment for all of us.
A.M. Sun Solar completed the installation last month. As a result of the monthly savings combined with the 30% federal tax credit and depreciation, Hawkins will have his system paid for in less than 6 years and will enjoy a 21%+ return on his investment.
“We love to work with local businesses. When a local business goes solar, it generates tax dollars for the city and helps ensure the sustainability of that company. The employees get excited knowing the company they work for is doing a good thing for the environment and they talk it up with their customers. This helps spread the word about solar, and the more solar in this world the better,” said Glen Covert, Director of Sales for A.M. Sun Solar.
“My employees are the backbone of my business.” said Hawkins. “I would rather give my employees raises than pay a large corporation like PG&E. That’s what I plan on doing with the savings I get every month from my solar system.”
Solar energy is positively trending nationwide due to the many benefits it brings to to the environment and for the savings it provides for businesses. Covert sees Hawkins’ decision to go solar as a prudent investment in his business, his community and the planet.
Every solar installation provides clean, renewable energy for our environment, contributes to the local economy and makes a statement to the world that going green makes sense. Stagecoach Liquor is a perfect example of this.
Michael invites everyone to visit Stagecoach Liquor at 5145 El Camino Real in Atascadero to see his new solar system and enjoy a hotdog, or cold refreshment, while you’re there.
About A.M. Sun Solar
A.M. Sun Solar Inc. is a locally owned and operated solar installation company operating throughout California and the central coast. They are currently the highest rated solar company on the central coast on multiple national lists. A.M. Sun Solar delivers custom tailored solar solutions to residential, agricultural and commercial clients.